Police 'clueless' about grenade attack, would welcome tips
January 22, 2014 00:00 By The Nation
Police yesterday welcomed any tips from the public that may help them arrest a suspect who threw grenades at the anti-government rally at Victory Monument on Sunday, as there had been no clues available to investigators so far.
A senior commander, Pol Maj-General Wicharnwat Borrirakkul, also warned people not to speculate on who the suspect may work for. “As long as the suspect is not arrested, don’t just speculate,” he said.
Detectives are working on the case but reportedly have few ideas or clues about the incident, as no one has come forward to volunteer information. “Anyone knowing the man [seen in CCTV footage throwing a grenade] is welcome to give information to the police,” he said.
A cap and a shirt left by the grenade thrower, who fled the scene with a large number of people in pursuit, were being inspected for DNA for further identification of the man, he said.
Meanwhile, a man whose photo was spread widely on social media and implicated as the suspect turned up yesterday in a clip posted on YouTube. The man identified himself as Lance Corporal Rachata Wongyord and warned people against further defamation, or claims that he was the suspect in the bomb attack. He criticised people who “doctored” a picture of him to make it similar to the suspect, and people who attack anti-government protesters.
Rachata served as a security chief under the late Army adviser Khattiya Swasdiphol (Seh Daeng). He said he had been charged with terrorism for being involved in a red-shirt riot in 2009, before being linked to the blast at Victory Monument.
Panthongtae Shinawatra, nephew of caretaker premier Yingluck, said on his Facebook page that his father Thaksin had offered a Bt10-million bounty for the arrest of the suspect, in addition to another Bt10-million bounty he had long offered for people behind the torching of CentralWorld during red-shirt protests in Bangkok in 2010.
There was further drama near the Victory Monument protest site early yesterday, when a car drove through a police checkpoint on Phya Thai Road.
The car headed toward another checkpoint manned by guards for protesters, which led to shots being fired at the vehicle, causing two male occupants to flee. Guards then apprehended a woman, identified as Orawan Jarbkan.
Orawan claimed that the driver was lost, that she did not know the men, and there was no firearm in the car.
She was charged with using drugs after her urine tested positive.
The woman has a criminal record, according to online news sources. She was allegedly arrested in June last year in Kanchanaburi following a similar incident, in which drugs were found in a vehicle she was in.